Submitted: June 7, 2017
Defendant's Motion to Suppress. Denied.
A. Motoyoshi, Esquire, Department of Justice, Dover,
Delaware; attorney for the State of Delaware.
G. Poliquin, Esquire of Brown Shiels & Beauregard, LLC,
Dover, Delaware; attorney for Defendant.
William L. Witham, Jr., Resident Judge
the Court are a Motion to Suppress and the State's
Response in opposition. Following a hearing, the parties
submitted supplemental legal memoranda. Mr. Seth seeks
suppression of all evidence obtained against him following a
stop, detention, and subsequent search by Harrington
Police. For the reasons that follow, his
motion to suppress is DENIED.
to testimony at the hearing, Mr. Seth was pulled over on
December 27, 2016, while driving south on U.S. Route 13 near
Delaware Route 14 in Harrington, Delaware. Sergeant Baker of
the Harrington Police Department pulled Mr. Seth over because
the tag lights on the car he was driving were not working.
When Sergeant Baker approached Mr. Seth's car, he could
smell the odor of marijuana from outside the driver's
Baker told Mr. Seth that he could smell the odor of
marijuana, to which Mr. Seth replied that he had smoked some
earlier. The officer asked Mr. Seth if there was anything
else in the car and if he could search it. Sergeant Baker
initially testified that Mr. Seth consented, but upon review
of the motor vehicle recording (MVR) he could not identify or
recall an oral or nonverbal expression of consent. Mr. Seth
testified that he did not give consent for the search.
searching the vehicle, Sergeant Baker discovered a backpack
in the middle of the back seat which contained a digital
scale, a handgun, and ammunition.
were no drugs inside of the backpack.
completing the search, Sergeant Baker arrested Mr. Seth on
the present charge of Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon. Mr.
Seth filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained during the
Seth argues that the stop of his vehicle was unsupported by
reasonable and articulable suspicion because his license
plate lights were working. He contends that the continued
detention of the vehicle was impermissible because there was
no reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime has been
committed. In his original motion, he did not address the
officer's allegation that the officer smelled marijuana
and that Mr. Seth admitted to ...